What is SASE?

Your Guide to Secure Access Service Edge

Secure Access Service Edge, better known in the industry by its acronym SASE (pronounced “sassy”), is a technology framework that combines network capabilities with security functions. SASE enables both users and devices secure access to cloud applications, data, and services. At a high-level, a good SASE definition is the combination of network transport services and cybersecurity features all centrally controlled and administered from the cloud with end-to-end visibility and analytics.

A SASE company is an IT services provider that offers network services and security services in one cloud-based model. Businesses with geographically-dispersed branch offices, a remote workforce, and a need for agile connectivity typically work with SASE companies. Any SASE company would offer the following features and services in a single, unified approach:

  • Connectivity via software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN)
  • A secure web gateway
  • A cloud-based firewall
  • Cloud access security broker (CASB) capabilities
  • Zero trust network access

Masergy’s capabilities perfectly match the SASE definition. Pioneering software-defined networking and partnering with Fortinet, Masergy’s SD-WAN offers secure web gateway, cloud-based firewall as a service (FWaaS), as well as Identity-based WAN Edge Analytics to help enable zero trust network access. We also integrated a best-of-breed CASB solution into our platform.

Where does the term SASE come from?

The SASE acronym was first published by Gartner in their Fall 2019 Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking report, which discusses the convergence of networking and security resources in business information technology. Gartner had used the term at a cybersecurity conference but it was not a SASE conference per se.

What are the benefits of Secure Access Service Edge?

The key benefits to businesses that choose a Secure Access Service Edge solution are simplicity and security. Because SASE, by definition, combines SD-WAN connectivity with must-have cybersecurity protections such as firewalls, a CASB, and secure web gateways, the CIO who chooses a SASE-compliant solution has fewer IT and security components to manage and maintain. SASE solutions are centrally managed and cloud-based, which not only simplifies IT maintenance, but also lowers the overall total cost of ownership. Cost savings stem from fewer vendors to manage and the reduction of capital expenditures.

How does SASE improve network performance?

Every Secure Access Service Edge solution requires SD-WAN connectivity. As such, SASE-compliant solutions deliver key advantages because SD-WAN is know for enhancing cloud application reliability and performance. SD-WAN leverages software to steer WAN traffic more efficiently across the network and prioritize application and workloads in the cloud for maximum performance. For example, Masergy Managed SD-WAN Secure solutions can dynamically prioritize a list of over 5,000 enterprise software as a service (SaaS) applications without sacrificing SASE security protections.

How does SASE improve network security?

A SASE solution can improve a company’s network security by only allowing connections between authorized users and specific business apps or data from anywhere. This is particularly important with the rise of cloud-based storage and work from home mandates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cloud-native security functions of a SASE solution ensures zero trust network access via the SD-WAN connection.

Why Choose Masergy SASE?

SASE converges security and networking for businesses, and Masergy’s Managed SD-WAN Secure solutions are built on the key tenets of the Secure Access Service Edge, helping IT leaders embed security into every business network. That network and security convergence is most visible when it comes to our customer portal, which presents both network analytics and security analytics in one dashboard. Clients get a single view of their entire network while also seeing key security analytics. These analytics include identity-based WAN analytics that provide granular information at the user level — rather than the site-level analytics available with other products.

Masergy infuses artificial intelligence into the network with our AIOps solution. Masergy AIOps is an embedded AI-powered virtual assistant that works 24/7 to automatically analyze customer network performance, helping IT teams troubleshoot issues. AIOps leverages Masergy’s 20 years of big data network analytics, alongside machine learning and behavioral analytics. AIOps is the SD-WAN industry’s first AI-based network intelligence service, and it comes standard with every SD-WAN deployment.

In addition, Masergy SD-WAN solutions come standard with Shadow IT Discovery, cloud workload protection (CWP), and endpoint detection and response (EDR) features to help tighten cloud security and ensure that the SaaS apps running on your network are all authorized. These added cybersecurity protections combined with deep real-time analytics enable both north/south and east/west network traffic monitoring to provide more awareness for defense in-depth (DiD) security strategies. We shore up those security functions with our patented machine learning algorithms and network behavioral analytics. This way, Masergy’s live security analysts working 24/7 in our 3 security operations centers around the world can quickly detect and respond to real threats at every location.